no alt text

Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 27 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

Built 1758-1790 at the behest of Louis XV of France, this grandiose monument to France’s ‘great men’ was originally intended to be a church dedicated to Sainte Genevieve. But during the French Revolution, it was converted into a mausoleum to house the remains of distinguished French citizens – to acknowledge and honour their contribution to the nation. The crypt contains the remains of 80 people, including the tombs of Voltaire, Hugo, Zola, Pierre and Marie Curie and Louis Braille.

Modelled on Rome’s Pantheon, the building is an early example of Neoclassicism, with a striking interior. The dome was designed to rival St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It’s 83m high, compared to 136m for St. Peter’s. You can climb the dome for city views.

Don’t miss 

The reconstruction of Foucault’s Pendulum directly beneath the dome. This famous experiment, which took place in the Pantheon building in 1851, proved the rotation of the Earth.


Price from: £10
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest metro stop is Cardinal Lemoine, on line 10. It’s a 5-minute walk from there. Audio guides are available at entry in multiple languages, or you can download a tour app.

When to do it

The monument is open all year round, seven days a week. Go first thing to avoid the tour groups. It’s free to all on the first Sunday of the month between November and March – expect more crowds then.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Ile-de-France, France

Aerial view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in frame against a beautiful golden sunset

Crammed with iconic buildings, world-class art and a culinary scene steeped in history, Paris is one of the world’s great capitals, overflowing with style, romance, and art de vivre.